ALBUQUERQE (KRQE) – High fire danger in New Mexico has the state on the receiving end of help from hot shot crews from Illinois and Montana. They’re currently on wildfire watch in the Sandia mountains. The metro area has seen less than 2 inches of rain all year. Crews are clearing a path for controlled burns while prepared to pounce on any flames. In return for the favor, New Mexico will send hot shot crews to those states when their fire season starts later this summer.
Rape charges have been dropped against two Lobo football players and a CNM student but, so far, the District Attorney has not dropped the case. The DA says they don’t have the evidence they need to indict the three, but charges could change pending further investigation. Attorneys for the men accused say they’ll reveal a sex tape showing the woman who claims she was raped at gunpoint was a willing participant. A decision on whether to reinstate the two Lobo players is up to the head coach and vice-president for athletics at UNM.
The American Civil Liberties Union is asking questions about whether APD violated its own policy. The latest controversy stems from the presence of undercover officers among the crowd of people protesting APD last weekend. The department is supposed to videotape people only when they think a crime has been committed. APD is not supposed to do surveillance based on politics and unpopular causes.
It turns out the Española teenager shot and killed by city police earlier this month had a cap gun. Officers shot and killed 16-year-old Victor Villalpando after they say he called 911 and reported a suspicious person who was armed, then described himself. Investigators say Villalpando pointed the cap gun at officers, so they shot him.
Some immigrants, who’ve come to the U.S. illegally, may be housed in Artesia before they’re deported. It’s part of an ongoing nationwide debate. New Mexico Congressman Steve Pearce, R-New Mexico, says 700 immigrants will stay at Artesia’s Law Enforcement Training Center. Some in Artesia are opposed to the idea, others don’t care.
Internationally, Secretary of State John Kerry is in Iraq for a second day, trying to negotiate a peace deal between three warring factions, the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. U.S. Special Forces have boots on the ground in Iraq to observe the fighting and determine whether air strikes would help stop it.